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Don’t miss this chance for a fun-filled overnight event where you’ll get an in-depth look at everything available in Illinois 4-H and start your leadership journey. Planned and organized by the Illinois State 4-H Youth Leadership Team, this weekend, overnight conference offers you a chance to explore new 4-H project areas, learn activities and games they can take home to their own 4-H clubs, learn and practice new leadership skills, and meet kids your age from across the state.

The Illinois 4-H Jr. Leadership Conference is a statewide event planned just for 7th and 8th grade 4-H members. By the time you leave, you’ll have a better understanding of the opportunities available in the Illinois 4-H program and learned how to a difference in your own community. 4-H members may bring one non-4-H friend with them as a guest.

Adventures Await! Where are YOU headed on your leadership journey? Check out the 2018 Illinois 4-H Junior Leadership Conference to see some of your many options! Scheduled for February 24-25, 2018 at the President Abraham Lincoln Hotel in Springfield, this weekend conference will include a variety of hands-on workshop sessions, team-building activities, making new friends, and more!

More Fun Than You Can Imagine

  • Who Did It?: You’re cordially invited to a dinner party at the Emerald Clover Mansion. Cowboy Ed, Mr. Lead the accountant, Al the Butler, Christabel the damsel, Dr. Green, Professor Longheart, and Annabelle the Maid are all in attendance. A crime take place during dinner that throws the whole party into a dizzy. Through theater games, role-play, and improvisation, increase your communication, leadership, and thinking skills to solve the mystery.
  • Investigating Your Way Through the Business World: Learn the basics of the business world with this interactive workshop. Design a business plan and present it to a panel of judges. Skills learned can help you start your own business as a teen!
  • Detecting Your Reality: Join us as we take a trip to a whole new world with the remarkable technology we can Virtual Reality. Experience other countries as if you were there, and put your problem-solving skills to the test. Learn about VR and see how it was created – what’s in store for you in the virtual world?!?
  • Medical Motives: In this room of wonders, come explore the mysteries of the medical world. Carpals, capillaries, and craniums, Oh my! We will be navigating our way through the body systems that make you, you.
  • Cracking the Code with Forensics!: Have you ever wondered about the mysteries behind leadership? Learn how to unlock your full potential through a mock crime scene including the answer to “Why do your fingerprints leave a lasting impression?”
  • Leadership on the Loose: Can you figure out the clues to solve the mystery? Through several hands-on activities, investigate your way through the leadership puzzle.

A Chance to Serve

Would you help? Youths and chaperones are encouraged to bring 1-2 items to donate for the not-for-profits that have been started by 4-H Youth Leadership Team members.

  • It’s the Small Things (Taylor Hartke) – It’s the Small Things is a nonprofit organization that gives children who are terminally ill or receiving long-term medical care and their families backpacks and bundles to brighten their time in the hospital and take their mind off of their illness. Targets children 3-18 years of age.
  • Helmets & Heels (Kaley Rouse) – Helmets & Heels was created to benefit the Children’s Hospital of Illinois and St. Jude in Peoria. Items are given to the children on the General Pediatric floor, Pediatric Onocology floor, and the Pediatric Intensive Care floor by Kaley and her local high school football team as a means to give back to their community.
  • H Cubed (Anthony Warmack) – H Cubed is an organization whose mission is to assist homeschool families and students who are in financial need through charitable means.  When a situation such as job loss, divorce, fire, death of a parent, or any other type of unexpected disaster happens to a family, the financial burden can be great.  While many public schools offer programs to assist those who are in financial need, homeschooling families don’t have any such programs.  http://www.homeschoolerscubed.org/.

What to bring to donate

  • Homeschool Curriculum
  • Literature, picture, easy reader books, educational DVDs
  • Gift Cards to book stores, educational/office supply stores, or other “fun” gift cards
  • Hobby focused books/material
  • Other items that might be beneficial to youth in need
  • Lightly used books for 3-18 years of age
  • DVD’s appropriate for 3-18 years of age
  • New Coloring, Puzzle or Activity books
  • Dress-up items for children
  • New Cards or games
  • New toys or stuffed animals (for ages 0 – 20)
  • New backpacks
  • New plastic totes
  • Lysol wipes
  • New blankets (for ages newborn to 20)
  • Gift Cards for Teens (Amazon, Best Buy, ITunes, etc.)


  • Check In: 10 – 11 AM, Saturday, Feb. 24
  • Pick Up: by 11:45 AM, Sunday, Feb. 25

Cancellations & Refunds

All cancellations and refund requests must be received in writing by the State 4-H Office by 5 p.m. on the date specified below in order to receive any portion of a refund. Requests must be emailed to blue1@illinois.edu

  • Cancellations prior to 5 p.m. on January 22, 2018 will receive a full refund.
  • Cancellations made between January 22 (5 p.m.) and January 26, 2018 (5 p.m.) will receive an 85% refund
  • Cancellations between 5 p.m., January 26 and February 2, 2018 (5 p.m.) will receive a 50% refund.
  • No refunds will be issued for cancellations received after 5 p.m. on February 2, 2018.

Volunteer chaperones

Interested adults (at least 21 years of age) may apply by contacting Carla Blue @ blue1@illinois.edu. The cost for chaperones is covered by the Illinois 4-H Foundation.


Open to any Illinois 4-H member in the 7th or 8th grade. Members may invite one non-4-H guest. Depending upon location of the conference, registration numbers may be limited and on a first-come, first-served basis.

Required Document


Twenty $50 scholarships are available for first-time 4-H member attendees who need financial assistance in order to attend. To apply, print and submit a scholarship application by January 8, 2018. If accepted for a scholarship, members will receive a check following attendance at the event. Download the application HERE. We appreciate the support of the Illinois  4-H Foundation for providing these scholarships.

Contact for More Information:

University of Illinois Extension 4-H Youth Development Specialist
Debra Stocker
Illinois 4-H Event Planner
Carla Blue
photo of teen girl

Event Information

Feb 24, 2018 to Feb 25, 2018
President Abraham Lincoln Hotel
701 E Adams St

Registration Deadline:

January 22, 2018